Almost all types of seeds require global movement, this is only made possible if the seed producers set up solid partnerships with global logistics companies. The seed supplies are delivered by truckers to different corners of the world so that the plantation process can be carried out. Seed producers spend vast amounts of time developing new and hybrid plant seeds in greenhouses, shipping them to different laboratories for further research and testing. Once these newly developed seeds are approved for commercial planting, they are distributed to the different parts of the world. Due to the global nature of seed producing, the Covid-19 pandemic has negatively impacted seed growers all over the world.
The Asia & Pacific Seed Association states, “ The seed trade is highly international with large volumes of seed shipped across borders to meet farmers’ demand across the Asia and Pacific region. In 2018, more than US$4.1 billion worth of sowing seed was traded in the region, constituting about 14% of the global seed trade. This trade is essential for the region’s food and nutrition security and economic prosperity. Yet shipments are affected by lockdowns imposed by governments across the region to stem the Covid-19 pandemic. ”
Seed producers collaborating with logistics sector:
Some recent studies reveal that seed producers are continuously working to improve the quality of seeds by following a number of specialised scientific methods. When seeds have been approved for use by regulatory bodies, they need most the support of supply chain companies to help them ship their seed collections to the most suitable ares for growing.
Over the year seed producers therefore need to maintain strong relationships with logistics providers. Meaning seed producers, not only focus on the development of seeds in labs and greenhouses; they also need to manage the transportation of seeds in large volumes to meet global food demands.
For instance, the U.S. Midwest is responsible for producing almost 25% and 10% of the soybean seeds and corn which are later shopped to the northern part of America to meet the a product of the autumn crop harvests. In order to serve market demands with the pressure of changing weather cycles, seed producers need to ensure regulated supplies to their customers.
Challenges associated with pandemic:
American seed producers are greatly affected by changing weather patterns. Producers need to be prepared for natural disasters throughout the year; however, this time, the coronavirus pandemic changed has impacted their operations. When the world is experiencing uncertainties; most of the countries have announced indefinite lockdowns.
Chinese seed producers have also experienced delays in growing with the Asia & Pacific Seed Association stating, “challenges were experienced across China’s seed industry as early as February, with local lockdown measures having negative effects on the domestic seed sector, including labor shortages, setbacks in distribution and retail, and increased expense for transport and logistics, as confirmed by a statement issued by the China Seed Association in March.”
It’s clear, the world economy is on shakey ground due to the impact of the coronavirus; which undoubtedly adds further pressure to global food supply chains. Many analysts have predicted that along with a disturbance in the economy, this pandemic may leave huge scarcity of agricultural supplies, seeds included. That is why the seed producers are motivated to maintain the supply of seeds to farmers so that a healthy flow of production can be maintained. This flow is essential to meet the demands during this pandemic and in the aftermath of the pandemic as well.
The HPPR states, “The coronavirus pandemic is further complicating the situation. The supply chain is strained and moving products across the country is taking longer than usual.
“How it is actually impacting the 2020 planting season is probably yet to be known,” Lofton said. “However we do know that just slowing it down is something that it’s drastically doing.”
Software solutions to meet changing seed producer demands:
In order to meet the changing requirements and a significant rise in demand for seeds, the supply chain industry is also looking for solid solutions to manage the adequate flow of materials. One of the best recommendations from experts is incorporating the use of logistics management software in order to support key logistics companies with seed managmenet in their warehouses. The supply chain industry is now in the process of setting up multiple distribution centres to serve it’s customers during this pandemic.
There is vast evidence to suggest that warehouse teams find it easier to handle the supply chain with the use of logistics management software. It allows them to establish healthy contact with seed producers so that a regular flow of services can be maintained to serve their needs. Although the cross-border services are restricted for an indefinite time, the logistics service providers are making an effort to maintain the supply within local and comestic markets to the best of their ability. These warehouse management software tools make it easier to schedule trucker movements while ensuring timely deliveries in varying locations.
Almost all countries are now looking for reliable supply chain management as it serves as the lifeblood of any nation. Logistics companies are working hard to serve the frontline workers and at the same time as trying to maintain the food supply in remote areas. In addition, they are taking on further responsibility by maintaining core agricultural supplies so that crop production can be maintained, and communities won’t suffer shortages.
The logistics industry is usually dominated by regional and global players. But during this pandemic, they are serving essential supply requirements to different parts of the nation. They are also adopting software and agency partnerships to enhance productivity to ensure a brighter future for seed producers and communities all over the globe.